The pandemic has changed our lifestyle now-a-days. We have to manage everything virtually. Working, shopping and even schooling are done online now-a-days. Due to prolonged staring at screens our eyes are prone to become dry. The eyes also suffer a fair amount of strain. Studies revealed that near vision to the screens induces near sightedness or myopia. A healthy pair of eyes is truly a great blessing. Focusing on a computer screen for prolonged periods of time without breaks damages our eyes. It might even cause Computer Vision Syndrome. It is also referred to as Digital Eye Strain, and can also result from prolonged use of tablets and smartphones. The rapid increase in screen time during the pandemic may have adverse effects in the eye.
Some symptoms of Digital Eye Strain are
- Irritated eyes/eye strain
- Blurry vision
- Dry eyes
- Neck/Shoulder pain
Steps to take care of your eyes
- Eye workout – Eye fatigue is one of the major causes of digital eye strain. Give your eyes a break by doing the following:-
- 20-20-20 rule:- Every 20 minutes, look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This will relax eye muscle and reduce fatigue.
- Look at a faraway object for 10-15 seconds, then look at an up-close object for 10-15 seconds. This will also help relieve strain on the eyes.
- Plan your screen time – Try to avoid looking into computer screens, mobile, laptop or any other electronic gadgets after waking up from sleep within 1 hr. Before going to bed too avoid the same within 1 hr. Plan your time to access in social networking sites as they are the most attractive sites for us. As your children have to study in online classes now-a-days, their screen time is more compared to other average days. Being a parent, you have to monitor they are not spending additional time on their mobile phones.
- Nutritional foods that can improve eye health –
- Eggs – Egg yolks are rich in Vitamin A, lutein, zeaxanthin and zinc, which are all vital to eye health. These yellow-orange color compounds blocks harmful blue light from damaging your retina. Vitamin A safeguards the cornea and helps in night vision along with zinc. Eggs are also good sources of Vitamin C and E.
- Oily Fish – Oil in the fish contains Omega-3 fatty acids which keeps the retina healthy. The fish oil can reverse dry eye, including dry eye caused by spending too much time watching the screen. People who consumed fishes have the lowest risk of eye diseases. Fishes like Tuna, Salmon, Hilsa, Pomfret etc. contain the most beneficial levels of Omega-3 acids. People who don’t eat fish can add fresh ground flax seeds in their diet. They are rich in Omega-3s and Vitamin E too.
- Water – Dehydration leads to dry eye condition. The eyes need fluid for lubrication and to wash off harmful substances. Water also acts as a coolant to the eyes. Even washing your eyes after a long stare at screen relaxes and comforts your eyes.
- Sunflower seeds – People consuming a balanced diet containing Vitamin E everyday had significantly reduced rates of cataracts and cataract surgery in comparison to those consuming lesser amounts. Sunflower seeds are a very rich source of Vitamin E. Vitamin E can protect your eyes from oxidative damage caused by light.